The best beaches near San Jose del Cabo are outside of the downtown area, unlike many beach resort towns, as its main center is about a mile inland from the sea. Once you get to the sea, however, you will find five miles of wonderful sand stretching on either side of what is known as Playa Hotelera (Hotel Beach), which begins almost due south of downtown and stretches all the way to the estuary (a freshwater lagoon famed for its birdlife) on one side and Costa Azul Beach on the other. The beaches along this length are wonderful for sunbathing and other beach activities but not the best for swimming because of strong waves coming ashore due to a sharp drop-off quite close to shore. If you are staying in one of the many resorts here, you will find they all have great swimming pools. You will also find shops and restaurants here, as well as public palapas and a children’s park with play equipment.
Playa Costa Azul (Blue Coast Beach), where there are many resort condos available as vacation rentals, is probably the most popular of the beaches close to town. There are good surfing spots at the end of this beach. Next in line of the best beaches near San Jose del Cabo is La Playita (Little Beach), which is home to the area’s cooperative panga fishing fleet – again, not the best for swimming, but excellent for local color. Past this point are miles and miles of often deserted sand and secluded coves. Even if you’re not a beach person, the estuary beach area is highly recommended because of the birdlife and other indigenous fauna. This is a good place for horseback rides, mountain bikes, and kayaking.